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Hackster.io

Hackster Launch (with GroupGets) + New Contests!

All aboard for Hackster Launch – our collaboration with GroupGets, bringing you fresh hardware and new audiences. See below for a Pi Zero-shaped Arduino, a PC-friendly Click board interface, and more!
Plus, take a look at the UNDP Covid-19 Detect & Protect Challenge grand prize winners, and sign up for our other ongoing contests before they close!

// https://www.hackster.io/launch
// https://groupgets.com/campaigns/814-nrf9160-feather?ref=hackster
// https://twitter.com/jaredwolff/status/1294002972788236291
// https://groupgets.com/campaigns/822-atmegazero?ref=hackster
// UNDP finalists: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHkRUlkf5ik
// https://sgtechcentre.undp.org/content/sgtechcentre/en/home/covid19detectprotect/covid19-detect-protect-challenge-livestream-finale-blog.html
// https://www.hackster.io/contests/
// https://www.hackster.io/contests/ElephantEdge
// https://www.hackster.io/contests/touchlessdomore

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ScienceDaily

Quasar jets are particle accelerators thousands of light-years long

An international collaboration bringing together over 200 scientists from 13 countries has shown that the very high-energy gamma-ray emission from quasars, galaxies with a highly energetic nucleus, is not concentrated in the region close to their central black hole but in fact extends over several thousand light-years along jets of plasma. This discovery shakes up current scenarios for the behaviour of such plasma jets. The work, published in the journal Nature on June 18th, 2020, was carried out as part of the H.E.S.S collaboration, involving in particular the CNRS and CEA in France, and the Max Planck society and a group of research institutions and universities in Germany.

Over the past few years, scientists have observed the Universe using gamma rays, which are very high-energy photons. Gamma rays, which form part of the cosmic rays that constantly bombard the Earth, originate from regions of the Universe where particles are accelerated to huge energies unattainable in human-built accelerators. Gamma rays are emitted by a wide range of cosmic objects, such as quasars, which are active galaxies with a highly energetic nucleus. The intensity of the radiation emitted from these systems can vary over very short timescales of up to one minute. Scientists therefore believed that the source of this radiation was very small and located in the vicinity of a supermassive black hole, which can have a mass several billion times that of the Sun’s. The black hole is thought to gobble up the matter spiralling down into it and eject a small part of it in the form of large jets of plasma, at relativistic speeds, close to the speed of light, thus contributing to the redistribution of matter throughout the Universe.

Using the H.E.S.S. Observatory in Namibia, an international astrophysics collaboration observed a radio galaxy (a galaxy that is highly luminous when observed at radio wavelengths) for over 200 hours at unparalleled resolution. As the nearest radio galaxy to Earth, Centaurus A is favourable to scientists for such a study, enabling them to identify the region emitting the very high-energy radiation while studying the trajectory of the plasma jets. They were able to show that the gamma-ray source extends over a distance of several thousand light-years. This extended emission indicates that particle acceleration does not take place solely in the vicinity of the black hole but also along the entire length of the plasma jets. Based on these new results, it is now believed that the particles are reaccelerated by stochastic processes along the jet. The discovery suggests that many radio galaxies with extended jets accelerate electrons to extreme energies and might emit gamma-rays, possibly explaining the origins of a substantial fraction of the diffuse extragalactic gamma background radiation.

These findings provide important new insights into cosmic gamma-ray emitters, and in particular about the role of radio galaxies as highly efficient relativistic electron accelerators. Due to their large number, it would appear that radio galaxies collectively make a highly significant contribution to the redistribution of energy in the intergalactic medium. The results of this study required extensive observations and optimized analysis techniques with H.E.S.S., the most sensitive gamma-ray observatory to date. Next-generation telescopes (Cherenkov Telescope Array, or CTA) will no doubt make it possible to observe this phenomenon in even greater detail.

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Materials provided by CNRS. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

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ProgrammableWeb

Paytm Launches SDK for All-In-One Payments System

Bringing disparate digital payments options under one system, Paytm today launched an All-In-One payments system along with an SDK for third-party integration. The All-In-One system includes point-of-sale touchscreen machines, payment gateway switches and a QR code that works across UPI through Paytm or other apps, RuPay cards and for Paytm wallet and Paytm Payments Bank accounts.

The Paytm All-In-One PoS enables payments from the Paytm wallet, debit and credit cards and all UPI apps. This also includes EMI payments for large purchases. The PoS, unveiled by Infosys co-founder and UIDAI chairman Nandan Nilekani, with its large screen enables merchants to generate dynamic QR codes. It also lets merchants track cash payments, enable deferred payments and reminders for payments. The PoS device, built by Paytm, allows same-day payments settlements. It has already been tested by over 150K merchants, the company claimed.

Paytm All-in-One will also work for payouts i.e payments to vendors, corporate meal allowance, daily wages for industries, e-commerce refunds and more. The Paytm All-In-One software development kit or SDK will allow other payment providers to integrate their systems to Paytm and provide a seamless transaction experience for digital payments users. The SDK also allows SMEs and shopkeepers to create storefronts on Paytm app, just like Google Pay.

Paytm promises zero cost for merchants because of the zero merchant discount rate (MDR) on digital payments through UPI and RuPay cards. Announcing the launch, Paytm and One97 Communications founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma said, “Zero MDR opens up a whole new market in India.”

Sharma added that the PoS device is used by IRCTC for food services on board.

For the All-In-One QR code, the company is also innovating on the displays and interfaces. One example is the calculator integrated into the QR code display or a speaker which confirms the transaction with an audio alert. The speaker is an IoT device with an integrated eSIM. This has been created to limit frauds such as fake payment confirmation screenshots. Similarly, the All-In-One PoS also has an in-built printer to give receipts to consumers.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">ProgrammableWeb PR</a>

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3D Printing Industry

Genera G2 DLP 3D printer and F2 post-processing unit – technical specifications

Genera, a 3D printer manufacturer based in Vienna, Austria, is bringing a 3D printing system comprising two units to market. The system comprises the G2 3D printer and F2 post-processing unit. The G2 is responsible for the additive manufacturing process, leveraging Genera’s DLP 3D printing technology. The F2, on the other hand, is a post-processing […]

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Author: Anas Essop

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3D Printing Industry

CREATE Education and Rolls-Royce launch UK’s first Primary Education 3D Printing Hub

The CREATE Education Project, a platform aimed at bringing 3D printing to UK classrooms, has announced the launch of its first Primary Education 3D Printing Hub, in collaboration with leading car and aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce.  Wyndham Primary Academy, a school located in Derby, UK, has been revealed as the location of the 3D printing hub, […]

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Author: Anas Essop

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ScienceDaily

Contextual engineering improves success of projects in non-industrial societies

Humanitarian engineering projects often focus on bringing western technologies to non-industrialized societies. But environmental and cultural factors in these locations may be very different from conditions in the West, and the projects may not meet client needs if engineers do not fully understand the context in which they are operating.

A new study from the University of Illinois, published in the Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, takes a look at the biases that may influence the effectiveness of international engineering efforts implemented by development organizations such as Engineers Without Borders.

The study’s author Ann-Perry Witmer conducted an in-depth analysis of the motivations and beliefs of engineers working on international projects. She says her research is unique because it combines technology with anthropological insights.

“As engineers we think we’ve got all the technical solutions, but we tend to neglect where the project is being done, and the people we’re working with,” says Witmer, a lecturer in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences and The Grainger College of Engineering at U of I.

Contextual engineering is a new approach that can help overcome those hurdles, Witmer says, by merging technical knowledge with a place-based understanding of conditions that inform the process.

Witmer’s research grew out of her experiences as a practicing engineer, specializing in the design of water systems for communities. She has worked on numerous projects in Central America, South America, Asia and Africa, and she advised Engineers Without Borders at the U of I for the past five years.

“For this paper the core of the research comes from my decade of working on projects around the world,” she says. She kept detailed journals of each project, which formed the basis of a qualitative data analysis, using social science software that scans content for themes and patterns. She also developed a detailed questionnaire and conducted in-depth interviews with engineers, engineering students, and international project practitioners.

Witmer observed how projects were often derailed by limited understanding of local conditions. For example, she says, a water pump manufactured in the U.S. was transported to Guatemala for use in a community water system. However, seals in the pump housing frequently wore out and needed to be replaced. Getting replacement parts turned out to be difficult and time-consuming, leaving the community without a functioning water pump for much of the time.

Witmer’s research identified a number of dimensions that are important for the outcome of a project. These include:

  • The engineers’ confidence in industrialized technology. Witmer says the experts often are so certain of the superiority of the technology they bring in that they overlook whether it’s appropriate for the local context.
  • Uniqueness of the context. Engineers may be aware of obvious differences in climate and topography, but they may not consider social and cultural dimension that are unique to each location.
  • Power dynamics. Each society will have its own structure of politics and power that can significantly influence the outcome of a project but that can be hard for an outsider to grasp.
  • Innovative self-sufficiency. Local constituents may be able to craft solutions based on available materials and conditions, and engineers are not always willing to consider whether these solutions are appropriate for the project.

Witmer concludes that by ignoring the complexity of the context, there is a risk that international aid projects may not function as intended; the efforts and money will be wasted; and the local population will not be helped. Chances of project success are much greater if the factors listed above are considered.

“The ultimate conclusion of this paper and the work I’ve done is that every place is so different it doesn’t matter what kind of brilliant technology you come up with, there are places it’s not going to work. It’s not appropriate. So the idea of creating this silver bullet that’s going to solve the world’s problems, it simply doesn’t exist,” she says.

However, engineers working on international projects can take steps to ensure greater success. They can aim to develop a high degree of self-reflection and awareness of their own motivations and implicit biases; assimilate into the local culture and identify unique contextual influences; and employ rigorous design in close partnership with local people and conditions.

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ScienceDaily

Virtual reality may help foster learning and collaboration across health professions

A virtual world may be a feasible learning platform for bringing together students from different healthcare professions and enhancing their understanding of collaborative patient care and knowledge of other health professions, according to a pilot study led by researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine and published online in the Journal of Interprofessional Care.

Interprofessional education (IPE) aims to foster learning and collaboration among healthcare students from different professions, with a goal of enhancing patient care. Scheduling face-to-face learning between students in different programs, however, is one of the largest barriers to implementing this type of learning. The study evaluated a virtual educational environment for its ability to provide IPE in palliative care, which is interdisciplinary by nature.

“IPE is an incredibly valuable experience for health professions students to have, and collaborative team-based palliative care has been shown to have a real impact on improving quality of life and patient care while lowering healthcare costs,” said first and corresponding author Amy L. Lee, an assistant professor of family medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine. “Interprofessional learning is a crucial component for health professions training, but it’s often easier said than done. Challenges aligning students’ schedules to physically meet and work together are the most-commonly cited obstacle. Communication in real-time via a virtual setting might help address this problem.”

Palliative care is multidisciplinary team-based medical care focused on the patient’s needs and quality of life during a serious illness. Teams of doctors, nurses, social workers and other caregivers work together to provide the patient, family, and other doctors treating the patient with medical, emotional, and logistical support.

The researchers created an IPE palliative care experience in the virtual reality platform Second Life. Thirty-five graduate-level health professions students enrolled in two-hour online educational sessions at their own convenience, creating groups of three-to-six students from different professions and in multiple geographic locations. Students came from five professions: nursing, medicine, nutrition, physical therapy, and social work.

The virtual reality world included three team activities that students participated in by using an avatar, a digital representation of themselves. The first activity was a team scavenger hunt, where participants communicated over audio and group-text messaging and had to move together as a team from one location to the next. This allowed the team members to work together as they learned how to use the technology of the virtual world. Following the scavenger hunt they went to an exam room for a conversation with a standardized patient and her family member about symptom management and palliative care options; here they interacted with the patient and her sister over live audio while also silently consulting one another over group-text. The researchers even developed a virtual representation of the patient’s experience, allowing the students to better understand their patient. The final component was a debrief about the virtual reality experience.

The researchers used a series of pre- and post-session surveys to assess how effective the virtual reality platform was at fostering palliative care collaboration between students. Students also submitted written reflections and photographs of their experience.

Overall, the researchers found that the virtual reality approach to interprofessional education was comfortable and convenient for students to take part in and improved student attitudes about the value of other healthcare professionals. Students reported appreciating the virtual experience of their patient’s symptoms, indicated by an increased sense of empathy on their post-session surveys, and the ability to practice anonymously and without worry about causing harm to a patient or making mistakes during the learning process. Some students also reported an interest in learning more about palliative care and continuing IPE training with their team — whether virtually or in real life — after the study.

In critical feedback, some students reported confusion with the unfamiliar platform and expressed that the lack of in-person communication and ability to observe body language cues were drawbacks to using virtual reality for simulated patient interactions.

“Students came away from this study with a number of important lessons, and we as educators also learned something about teaching team skills in a virtual environment,” said Lee. “While more studies are needed to understand the best ways to integrate this type of learning experience into degree program curricula, the virtual environment opens up a new possibility for removing some of the barriers to collaborative patient care.”

The researchers acknowledge that the participant group was small, and the voluntary nature of the study may have attracted students with interests in palliative care and virtual reality education.

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ProgrammableWeb

iOS 13, iPadOS Nearly Ready for Release

Apple seeded the eighth round of betas to developers this week, bringing iOS 13 and iPadOS one step closer to public release. In fact, Apple also released iOS 13 and iPadOS public beta 7 mere hours after the developer builds. With Apple’s annual iPhone event believed to be on deck for September 10, the new platforms should become available to regular people on or around September 17. That means developers have just a few short weeks to finalize their apps

First and foremost, Apple suggests all developers update to the latest version of Xcode 11 beta 5, which has specific compatibility requirements for iOS 13. 

The latest beta has a few new, but unspecified, APIs. The release notes say iOS 13 beta 8, “Added new APIs for instantiating and modifying the built-in Core Image filters.” There are no details explaining exactly what these entail.  

Several functions have been deprecated. For example, the UIApplicationExitsOnSuspend key, OpenAL framework, AUGraph, Inter-App audio, Carbon component-based Audio Units, and Legacy Core Audio HAL plug-ins are no longer supported. Workarounds are available in the iOS SDK. Similarly, Apple removed support for FTP and File URL schemes, and the URLSession and NSURLConnection APIs no longer support SPDY. 

As always, the betas include new features. For example, voice processing mode can now be enabled in AVAudioEngine and Audio Unit Extensions now support user presets across all host applications. Audio Sharing has been expanded to AirPods, PowerBeats Pro, iPhone 8 (or later), iPad Pro (2nd gen or later), iPad Air, iPad Mini, and iPod Touch. In the mail app, users can now enable Ignore Blocked Senders via settings, and this also applies to Messages, FaceTime, and Phone. 

There are few fresh functions in SwiftUI, as well. Developers can now create colors from UIColor or NSColor, the text has a default line limit of nil, gesture modifiers have been renamed for consistency, and BindableObject has been replaced by ObservableObject. 

Last, the betas are still incredibly buggy. In fact, the list of known issues appears to be quite a bit longer than the list of new features. Apple says bugs continue to plague various aspects of core haptics, Find My, Health, iCloud, Music, Networking, Notes, PencilKit, RealityKit, ScreenTime, Siri, and Swift. That’s a lot of bugs!

Even so, time marches on. With a release date as soon as mid-September, Apple and developers alike have fewer than four weeks to wrap things up.

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Author: <a href="https://www.programmableweb.com/user/%5Buid%5D">EricZeman</a>

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3D Printing Industry

SYS Systems and Torus Group partner to produce 3D printed assembly for packaging industry

SYS Systems, the UK-based reseller and platinum partner of Stratasys, has announced that it will be bringing an unusual exhibit to the 2019 TCT Show in Birmingham, UK. Teamed up with Torus Group, a bespoke metrology specialist also headquartered in the UK, SYS Sytems will be showing a live demonstration of a novel 3D printing application for […]

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Author: Anas Essop